Rave reviews for the Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions but especially for the dressing!
When planning a meal, I often find that the most difficult part is deciding what would serve well and complement your main course and other side dishes. That is one of the most wonderful things about the design of A Summertime Grilling Guide. Tracy Kompelien had the inside cover open up to 3 separate connected pages for which Lynne & Sally crafted several menus for different occasions such as an old time grill party, a vegan feast, a cool super for a hot night, ect. There are 12 full menus presented in these 3 pages consisting of main courses, sides, salads, sweets and drinks. It is one of the things that make this book unique.
Lynne & Sally describe the Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions as a simple and unusual first course or side dish. It is that and more and would make for a great companion to not only the Essential BBQ Chicken but with steak, burgers or chicken, as well.
The list of ingredients is fairly straight forward with one exception. Scallions, are they the same as a table top onion? I was fairly sure by the description in the book which says to cut 1-1 ½ inches off of the green tops and trim the roots that a scallion and the table top or green onion were one in the same but decided to call mom just to be safe. The prep time for this dish at 5 minutes probably was correct but since I was doubling it, it took me about 10-15 minutes total.
After cutting the asparagus and onions, I placed them in a Tupperware container and added the extra virgin olive oil and other ingredients and tossed it around so that each would be lightly coated with the mixture so as not to burn. The grill was VERY warm and turned to high. Contrary to what the book says about grilling the asparagus and onions separately, I figured if they were going to end up served on the same platter that I might as well grill them together, especially since both called for 2 minutes grill time. I placed the vegetables on the grill and was careful to place them the opposite way of the grill grid. I did manage to burn my hands when turning the asparagus and onions and had a difficult time keeping them on top of the grill and not falling through. If you have one of the vegetable turners for the grill where you put them inside the metal grate and trap at the vegetables in, it would be a good idea to use it… .
The biggest hit of the entire meal was the simple mustard vineagrette dressing. I guess Lynne was correct when she said once you have a homemade dressing, you will never go back. And what a pleasure to find that it is so easy to make. The dressing went together very smoothly. Upon tasting it, I found it to be a bit bitter with the mustard and the balsamic vinegar thus I added a generous pinch of brown sugar, improvising a bit from Lynne & Sally’s recipe. Here is the recipe for the dressing:
2 to 3 tablespoons high-quality balsamic vinegar, or 1 tablespoon each minced onion and wine vinegar (I used the balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoons coarse mustard (I used the French’s mustard which was on-hand and probably not coarse)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced chives
BTW – don’t forget to dress your asparagus! The biggest hit of the night almost went unused until one of my friends asked me what the mustard sauce was supposed to dress. I had forgot to put it on the asparagus. Thankfully, he was the first in line but that meant having to dress the asparagus and quickly take the new picture as a line had formed and everyone was hungry.
This would be a perfect complement to any dish this holiday weekend thus I am posting it early…